"The torment of human frustration, whatever its immediate cause, is the knowledge that the self is in prison, its vital force and "mangled mind" leaking away in lonely, wasteful self-conflict." - Elizabeth Drew

How to write effective affirmations

Words possess great power. They encourage us, they comfort us, they hurt us. They shape who we are. The words that were constantly repeated to us as children have become part of us. They sink into our subconscious and automatically replay in our mind as that inner voice that builds our beliefs.

Children that are constantly praised, are more likely to grow up with confidence. If constantly criticized, odds are they become resentful. Most of us grew up with some praise and some criticism, so we are only partially screwed up :)

Our minds are especially vulnerable at a young age, at states of unconsciousness, and at pain (physical or emotional). Any word that leaks through in vulnerable stages can be associated with feelings and emotions, and resurge at later times in many forms, including body sickness or heavy mental traumas.

Once we are aware of the causes of our doubts, fears, angers, sadness and other forms of limiting behavior, we can do something about it. We can replace the negative messages running through your brain with positive ones.

These positive messages are called affirmations. And with constant repetition, they will penetrate our subconscious. Once there, they will form new beliefs, which result in new behavior.

Whether we like it or not, we are already practicing affirmations. We constantly talk to ourselves. Sometimes we encourage and praise ourselves, which is great! But too often we trash our thoughts, criticize our actions and block our own chances for success.

It’s time to start affirming what you want in life and control your destiny. You can do this by creating and repeating your own affirmations.

Writing affirmations is really not difficult, but you need to follow some guidelines to make them ore effective. The following tips will help you write affirmations in no time.

1) Focus on the desired outcome

Focus on what you want, not on what you want to avoid. For example, if you want to loose some pounds, try not to say, "I want to stop eating too much" because that would focus on the behavior you’re trying to end. Instead, focus on what you want by saying, "I want to live a healthy lifestyle." Now the focus is on positive, healthy behavior. Don’t worry, once the message reaches your subconscious, it knows that it is necessary to eat less and healthier to achieve a healthy lifestyle, so it will automatically create the desire for you to keep on your healthy diet.

Now it is not totally wrong to mention the behavior you want to avoid, so if you must you can do it but in a negation. Trying to tell your mind that it must find the means to keep away from the bad habit or problem. For example "I hate the taste of cigarettes", sends a really clear message and eventually make it easier to quit.

2) Writers block?

So you are ready to spurt out your affirmations and... nothing... you are blank. Try the following tips to get you started:

  • Think about how it would feel like to achieve your goal. Are you happy? Would you feel healthier? Would you have your new: car, job, house...? Write phrases that describe as if you already achieved your goal.
  • Think about what is needed to achieve your goal. Eat healthier? Exercise more? Improve your selling skills? Write phrases that describe the positive things you need to do or improve.
  • What are the benefits of your goal? Write affirmations that tell yourself the benefit you want to reach. Phrase it as if you are already experiencing the benefits.

2) Use present tense

Don’t say, "I WILL grow confident" otherwise your subconscious will keep postponing your desire to "someday" in the future. Instead say, "I AM growing confident."

If you can, try to be specific. You can say "I am losing 10 pounds by October 31st".

3) How to speak to yourself

When speaking to yourself you can use the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd person. For example:

1st: "I am happy" - 2nd: "You are happy" - 3rd: "Tom is happy"

The most commonly used is 1st person. It appeals to your inner self talking and motivating yourself, as if that inner voice is saying "Common, you can do it!"

2nd and 3rd person phrasing can also be used, and it is quite normal for your subconscious to listen to those types of addressments. When somebody else talks to you and says "You are magnificent"... ahh doesn't it feel good?

Or if someone said "Joe is a great guy", wouldn't it lift your spirit? (providing you are Joe)

So which one is best?

Discussion is still out there and the consensus at this time is to use the one you feel most comfortable with. I would reverse de question as "Which one not to use". If your personality is of a strong nature, and you give more advice vs. receiving then avoid 2nd person. If you love to be praised better opt for 2nd or 3rd.

4) Remove conflict

If I use the affirmation "I am confident," isn’t it because I lack confidence? If that’s the case, isn’t the affirmation a lie? How can I believe a lie? There are ways to reconcile this seeming conflict.

  • Repetition. Your subconscious mind accepts affirmations on repetition. The first few times the affirmation will sound as a lie, but eventually the belief gets stronger as the affirmations are repeated.
  • Complement the affirmations. Complement the affirmation with another one that reinforces it. For instance, if your affirmation states "I am confident," there should be one later that says, "My confidence is growing daily". Or, maybe say, "Each day I grow more and more confident."
  • Use denial. Instead of only stating, "I am confident," also say, "I am never fearful. I am always confident." If you only said "I am never fearful," you would be focusing on negative behavior, but because it is immediately followed by, "I am always confident," it remains a positive statement. The denial announces to the subconscious that its present image of you as cowardly is false.
  • Use questions. So, you may complement or change, "I am confident," to "What do I need to do to grow courageous?" or "How can I become courageous?" Your affirmation becomes a question, which results in your subconscious inspiring you with a plan of action.

7) Manifesting your desires

Don’t just sit back, waiting for your affirmation to magically transform your life. Start making things happen today. Your actions and affirmations support and reinforce each other. When affirmations and action steps are practiced simultaneously, explosive power is released, and your success is assured. So, do both.

For example, if you are very shy, you may use this affirmation: "I am no longer shy. I am comfortable speaking to others." However, while you are practicing the affirmation, take immediate action. It doesn’t matter how small the steps are, as long as you take steps. So, whenever you see someone you would like to speak with, instead of ignoring them, now say "Hi!" as you walk by. No need to stop.

As you keep repeating the affirmations and this small step, you will happily come to the realization that speaking to others may be easier than you imagined. Soon you will be ready to extend the "conversation" from a brief "Hi!" to a lengthier "Hi, how are you?" Just take baby steps, and in no time you will find yourself having a nice conversation!

8) Technology is here to help

The traditional way of inputting affirmations is to write them on multiple cards, and attach them everywhere you can, so you would be exposed the commands most of the time.

The problem with that approach is that affirmations read consciously tend to be blocked by the conscious mind. So we need a medium to deliver them directly to the subconscious.

The modern way is through digital media (audio, video) with embedded affirmations. Mindmp3 audios use the Silent Subliminal technique to seamlessly embed positive affirmations on easy listening audio tracks. This makes receiving affirmations more of a pleasure than a hassle.

I'm going to say again that persistence and repetition are key. Like anything you want to learn or accomplish by learning or practicing needs persistence and repetition, of course Mindmp3 makes that so much easier.